Assessment, Assessment, Assessment (or, Assessment, Assessment, Assessment)

Whoo boy!  This is gonna be a wild trip…  Short and simple, our institution is in the midst of a massive shift in the way stuff is being done, and part of that shift involves assessment.  Lots, and lots of assessment.  What are we doing?  How do we know we’re effective?  What could be done differently?  We have to provide documentation for practically everything, and help the faculty move forward in this process as well.

For faculty, the challenge is a bit different.  In their case, they must examine their courses and evaluate how everything ties in to the course objectives (goals).  Assignments must be mapped to specific course goals, which must match align to program goals and/or General Education (GenEd) goals, and this must be done for every assignment in every section of every course offered on our campus.  And it needs to be done by, oh, sometime last week.

This is where I come in.

We’ve only been on Blackboard for about 18 months now, and I’m comfortable working in the GUI and from the command line to make things happen the way I want them to happen.  So now my task is to use the Goals tool in Bb to align assessments to the appropriate objectives and to align the objectives with higher level objectives.  All the objectives already have been created, but they’re in about 500 or so separate documents (one for each class we offer).  To get them into Bb is going to be a mammoth task and a royal pain.  My plan, however, is to do it all via XML, so it won’t be as difficult.

Then, once all that wonderful data is in place and we have legitimate student data to work with, I get to use my yet-to-be-developed ‘R’ programming skills to perform the statistical analysis.

This is gonna be fun!!


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